As the S-400 air-defence deal with Russia gets the green signal, the stage is set for the inking of another $1.2-billion deal between India and Russia for 48 Mi-17V5 helicopters for the Indian Air Force.
State-owned Russian Helicopters has been waiting in the wings to seal the contract, with “negotiations completed at the end of last year.”
In an earlier interaction with BusinessLine , Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky had mentioned the company’s keen interest in supplying the Mil-17-V5 military and transport model to the forces. Russia’s arms exporting company JSC Rosoboronexport is to help the helicopter company execute the deal.
“IAF is seeking to upgrade its long-range air defence capabilities by acquiring the Russian made S-400 Triumf. Other deals with Russia will follow. We will also be inducting the PAD and AAD, collectively referred to as Pradyumna and Ashwin anti-ballistic missile air defence systems,” said an official. A delegation from the Defence Ministry, which had visited the Kamov Design Bureau of Russian Helicopters in April, was also informed about Mil-17-V5’s capabilities.
“ Placing an order for helicopters for the Indian Navy with our joint venture in India (licence-produced by HAL in Bengaluru) benefits both sides.
“Therefore, we have decided to invite our partners to gain a more detailed familiarisation,” said Andrey Boginskiy, Director General of Russian Helicopters Holding Company, in a statement.
Incidentally, Rosoboronexport (a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation) has an order backlog of nearly $45 billion.
Its portfolio of orders in India is more than $4 billion, with the Director General of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev pointing out the aggregate volume of contracts signed between India and Russia will breach the $7-billion mark.
The company is upbeat about its growing demand for combat aircraft, which is set to make up more than 50 per cent of Rosoboronexport’s export delivery volume.